The Reserve Bank on Tuesday said many banks are not extending doorstep services for senior citizens and differently-abled persons even after three years of it issuing advisories and asked for "strict compliance" on the same by April 30. The directions assume significance as they come amid the COVID-19 pandemic, where the senior citizens have been marked out as the most vulnerable and advised against stepping out of their homes as the country fights to limit the impact through radical measures like a three-week lockdown which is underway.
In a notification, the RBI drew banks' attention to an advisory issued in 2017 where concerted efforts were asked to be taken to take banking services to those over 70 years of age and to the differently-abled.
"Although banks were advised to implement the instructions by December 31, 2017, it has been observed that such services are yet to be offered by banks or were restricted to select branches," the RBI said.
"Banks shall report the progress made in this regard to the Customer Service Committee of the Board every quarter. Further, they must ensure strict compliance with the above instructions by April 30," the notification added.
The charges associated with rendering such a service should be made public and adequate publicity should be given to make everyone know about the availability of these services, the central bank said.
The notification asked banks to offer the doorstep banking services on pan India basis, develop a Board approved framework for determining the nature of branches/centres where these services will be provided mandatorily and those where it will be provided on a best effort basis and make the policy public.